Mrs. Jackelope and I saw The Break-Up Friday evening, mainly because it was playing at the sparsely-attended, slightly shabby theater we both like and we wouldn’t be subjected to a throng of simpering tweens. We both thought it was “fine,” meaning I don’t hate myself for going, but in a month I will have forgotten pretty much everything about it. It had a couple of good scenes, one scene that could have been great but was ruined by a needless and cheap Idiot Plot complication, and several genuinely funny lines. Plus you can’t ever, ever go wrong with Vincent D’Onofrio or Judy Davis; having both in one movie is supporting-cast Nirvana.
In discussing it, though, we found that we had two very different interpretations of the final scene.
This is the Six-Months-Later epilogue (required by law since Congress passed the Annie Hall Act of 1978), when Vaughn and Aniston run into each other on the street and have the “How’ve you been?” conversation. They smile at each other and say “You look great,” she promises to come take a tour on his tour-boat, they stand there grinning some more, and they part. There is no mention of whether either of them is or is not seeing anyone new. As she walks away, she turns and looks at him, smiling. He smiles too, and winks. Fade to black as we watch her walk off.
My interpretation: I thought the scene showed that they’ve maturely gotten over each other. Each is genuinely happy to see that the other is doing well, and they are not at all looking to get back together.
Mrs. Jackelope’s interpretation: She saw the lingering smiles and awkward conversation as flirtation, the two of them finding out that the spark that got them together in the first place was still there, however long it had been dormant. His wink, rather than a tacit and maybe wistful acknowledgement of their shared history, was a roguish come-on, and her promise to come take the boat-tour was, essentially, making a date.
In short, I thought the final scene cemented the titular Break-Up; she thought it undermined it, by setting us up for The Get-Back-Together, probably coming to a theater near you around Thanksgiving.
What think you?